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Computing Technology Industry Association
CompTIA (January 1, 1982-present)
Company typeNon-profit
FoundedJanuary 1, 1982; 42 years ago (1982-01-01)
Headquarters3500 Lacey Road
Suite 100
Downers Grove, IL 60515, U.S.
Number of locations
United States
Area served
ProductsTechAmerica (2014-present)
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata

The Computing Technology Industry Association, more commonly known as CompTIA, is an American non-profit trade association that issues professional certifications for the information technology (IT) industry. It is considered one of the IT industry's top trade associations.[1]

Based in Downers Grove, Illinois, CompTIA issues vendor-neutral professional certifications in over 120 countries. The organization releases industry studies to track industry trends and changes. Over 2.2 million people have earned CompTIA certifications since the association was established.[2]


CompTIA was created in 1982 as the Association of Better Computer Dealers (ABCD).[3] ABCD later changed its name to the Computing Technology Industry Association.[citation needed]

In 2010, CompTIA moved its headquarters into a new office space in a facility in Downers Grove, Illinois.[4]

The CompTIA portal moved to a hybrid version of the open-access model in April 2014 with exclusive content for dues-paying members.[5][6] The move expanded the organization's reach to engage a broader, more diverse set of members, and within a year, CompTIA's membership grew from 2,050 members to more than 50,000 in 2015.[7] By the close of 2016, the organization boasted more than 100,000 members worldwide.[citation needed]

Skillsboost, CompTIA's online resource for schools, was launched in June 2015. It contained resources for students, parents and teachers to promote the importance of computer skills.[8][9] CompTIA held its first annual ChannelCon Vendor Summit in 2015. The Vendor Summit is exclusive to people attending ChannelCon, the industry's premier conference for collaboration, education and networking. It addresses issues within the IT industry.[10]

In January 2017, CompTIA launched an IT professional association built on its acquisition of the Association of Information Technology Professionals.[11][12]


CompTIA offers trustmarks to businesses to certify their security capabilities and credentials.

The CompTIA Security Trustmark+ is based on the NIST Cybersecurity Framework and demonstrates compliance with key industry regulations such as PCI-DSS, SSAE-16, HIPAA, and others reliant on the NIST Framework. It is based on a third-party assessment of security policies, procedures and operations.

CompTIA offered additional trustmarks, a Managed Services Trustmark and Managed Print Trustmark, that were retired on Sept. 30, 2021.[13]


CompTIA administers its vendor-neutral certification exams through Pearson VUE testing centers. (Note: For A+ up through CASP+ one can renew or extend their certification by satisfying in these cases 20 to 75 CEUs a.k.a. "Continuing Education Units," over the three-year period.)[14]

Basic certifications[edit]

  • IT Fundamentals+ (ITF+) certification covers foundational IT concepts, basic IT literacy, and terminology and concepts of the IT industry. It is considered the first step toward the A+ certification.[15]
  • CompTIA also offers the Cloud Essentials certification as a pathway to its Cloud+ credential.

Professional level certifications[edit]

The CompTIA A+ Logo
The Network + Logo used for certified programs, repair shops, contractors, and technicians
  • A+: earned accreditation from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 2008.[16] A+ certification represents entry-level competency as a computer technician and is a vendor neutral certification that covers various technologies and operating systems.[17] By 2014, over one million people worldwide had earned A+ certification.[18] The certification expires 3 years after obtainment.[19] Certification prior to January 1, 2011, is considered good-for-life (GFL) and does not expire.[20]
  • Cloud+: released in October 2013 including both cloud computing and virtualization. It is accredited by ANSI and maps to DOD 8570 Standards.[21] It expires in 3 years.[19]
  • CySA+: Cybersecurity Analyst; released in February 2017. The certification focuses on cyber-threat detection tools and analysis to identify vulnerabilities and risks. CSA+ was accredited by ANSI.[22][23][24] In January 2018, the certification was renamed from CSA+ to CySA+ as a result of a trademark dispute.[25] It expires in 3 years.[19]
  • Data+: released in February 2022. This certification focuses on data mining, manipulating data, visualizing & reporting data, statistical methods, and governance.
  • Linux+: A single exam known as XK0-004[26] that is renewable through the CE program,[27] the certification covers Linux operating systems, from their installation and use to the basics of applicable free software and open source licenses. Was formerly a two-part exam LX0-103 and LX0-104 in partnership with Linux Professional Institute.[28]
  • Network+: accredited by ANSI in 2008.[16] The entry-level certification is used to measure skill as a network technician.[29] It expires in 3 years.[19] Certification prior to January 1, 2011, is considered good-for-life (GFL) and does not expire.[20]
  • PenTest+: intermediate-level certification focusing on penetration testing. Released July 31, 2018, the PenTest+ covers risk analysis, threat detection, and penetration testing and ethical hacking tools and methodologies.[30] PenTest+ is ANSI and ISO 17024 accredited and currently aligns with the DOD 8570 standard. It expires in 3 years.[19]
  • Security+: also earned its ANSI accreditation in 2008.[16] Security+ is an entry-level vendor-neutral security certification that builds off of the network security knowledge covered by the Network+ certification.[31] It expires in 3 years.[19] Certification prior to January 1, 2011, is considered good-for-life (GFL) and does not expire.[20]
  • Server+: focuses on server-specific hardware and operating systems, IT environments, disaster recovery and business continuity.[32] It was developed in 2001, with updates released in 2005, 2009, 2018, and 2021.[33]

Master level certification[edit]

CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+) is the highest level certification in CompTIA's cybersecurity pathway after Security+, CySA+, and PenTest+. The CASP+ certification was accredited by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) on December 13, 2011.[16] The CASP+ exam will certify that the successful candidate has the technical knowledge and skills required to conceptualize, design, and engineer secure solutions across complex enterprise environments. In March 2013, the U.S. Department of Defense approved the certification as a baseline certification accepted for Information Assurance Technical Level III, IS Manager Level II and IA Systems Architect and Engineer Levels I and II.[34]

Specialty certifications[edit]

  • Project+: In 2001, CompTIA acquired the Project+ project management certification program from Gartner. The program, previously called "IT Project+", was updated in 2003.[35][36]

Retired certificates[edit]

  • Certified Document Imaging Architect (CDIA+), is a certification for competency in document imaging, document management, and enterprise content management. Retired on December 1, 2017.[37]
  • Healthcare IT Technician certification focused on IT in the healthcare industry and was aimed at IT professionals who install and maintain electronic health record systems. Retired on February 28, 2017.[38][39]
  • Certified Technical Trainer (CTT+) certification is a vendor-neutral certification that is applicable to training professionals in all industries. Originally administered in 2001 through The Chauncey Institute, the CTT program was acquired by CompTIA and renamed as CTT+. It was created through a collaboration of the Information Technology Training Association, Inc. (ITTA) and the Computer Education Management Association (CedMA).[40] Retired on October 31, 2023, although anyone who had earned the CTT+ certification will remain certified after the retirement date. [41]

Stackable certifications[edit]

In January 2018, CompTIA released stackable certifications:[42]

CompTIA Infrastructure Career Pathway[edit]

  • Specialist
    • CompTIA IT Operations Specialist (A+/Network+)
    • CompTIA Systems Support Specialist (A+/Linux+)
  • Professional
    • CompTIA Cloud Admin Professional (Network+/Cloud+)
    • CompTIA Network Infrastructure Professional (Network+/Server+)
    • CompTIA Linux Network Professional (Network+/Linux+)

CompTIA Cybersecurity Career Pathway[edit]

  • Specialist
    • CompTIA Secure Infrastructure Specialist (A+/Network+/Security+)
  • Professional
    • CompTIA Secure Cloud Professional (Security+/Cloud+)
    • CompTIA Security Analytics Professional (Security+/CySA+)
    • CompTIA Network Vulnerability Assessment Professional (Security+/PenTest+)
    • CompTIA Network Security Professional (Security+/PenTest+/CySA+)
  • Expert
    • CompTIA Security Analytics Expert (Security+/CySA+/CASP+)
    • CompTIA Security Infrastructure Expert (Security+/CySA+/PenTest+/CASP+)

Right to Repair[edit]

CompTIA initially lobbied against the right to repair.[43] On February 21, 2020, CompTIA posted stated that as of February 3, 2020, "CompTIA permanently stepped back from all lobbying activity related to right to repair legislation."[44]


CompTIA established a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization called Creating IT Futures.[45]

Certification expiration[edit]

Previously, CompTIA marketed its flagship A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications as being valid for a lifetime. In January 2011, CompTIA changed the status of these certifications so that they would expire every three years. Under this proposal, certified individuals would have to re-certify for the exams or pay a yearly maintenance fee for a CEU (Continuing Education Units) system. CompTIA modified the guidelines so that only certificates received after January 1, 2011, would need to be renewed every three years and would require documented continuing education hours.[46] The un-expirable certificates, issued before 2011, are officially called Good-for-Life, and getting a more updated (and expirable) certification does not replace the Good-for-Life one – the professional can have both.[47]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Peter Fabris (2021-12-11). "CompTIA's Update Ready to Install". Sync Magazine.
  2. ^ Mark Zonca (August 2016). "CEO Profile – Todd Thibodeaux". Naperville Magazine. Archived from the original on 2020-02-05. Retrieved 2017-04-08.
  3. ^ Peter H. Gregory, Bill Hughes (April 24, 2015). Getting a Networking Job For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons.
  4. ^ "CompTIA: The Computing Technology Industry Association Inc". The Journal of American Institute of Architects. April 27, 2012.
  5. ^ "CompTIA Opts for New Open-Access Membership Model: Associations Now". associationsnow.com. 2014-04-07. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  6. ^ "CompTIA adds free open-access option to membership structure". SearchITChannel. Archived from the original on 2017-05-10. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  7. ^ "From 2,000 to 50,000: Lessons Learned From CompTIA's Open-Access Membership Model". ASAE. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  8. ^ Ronald Moore-Colyer (2015-06-24). "CompTIA launches Skillsboost website to entice more students into IT". V3.
  9. ^ Joshua Bolkan (June 24, 2015). "CompTIA Launches Online Resource for Students Interested in IT Careers". The Journal.
  10. ^ "CompTIA ChannelCon 2016 Vendor Summit Examines How To Thrive in the IT Channel". Business Solutions. June 15, 2016. Archived from the original on April 9, 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  11. ^ Conner Forrest (January 9, 2017). "CompTIA launches professional association to help fill skills gap in IT". TechRepublic.
  12. ^ Rich Freeman (2017-01-10). "CompTIA to Create New Association For IT Professionals". ChannelPro Network. Archived from the original on 2022-03-19. Retrieved 2017-04-08.
  13. ^ CompTIA (2021). "CompTIA Trustmarks". CompTIA.
  14. ^ "Earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) | CompTIA IT Certifications". CompTIA.Org. CompTIA, Inc., the IT Industry Association. January 25, 2020. Retrieved January 25, 2020. (website has a visual chart of CEUs needed per various certifications)
  15. ^ "IT Fundamentals Overview". IT Pro TV.
  16. ^ a b c d "Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA)". www.ansi.org. Retrieved 2016-01-30.
  17. ^ "What is the CompTIA A+ certification". Indiana University.
  18. ^ "One in a million: CompTIA A+ passes certification milestone". Certification Magazine. October 21, 2014. Archived from the original on January 7, 2021. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  19. ^ a b c d e f "Overview Continuing Education and Renewal | CompTIA IT Certifications". Default. Retrieved 2021-12-31.
  20. ^ a b c CompTIA Good-for-Life Certifications, access date April 3, 2018.
  21. ^ Ed Tittel, Mary Kyle (November 17, 2016). "Best Cloud Computing Certifications For 2017". Tom's IT Pro.
  22. ^ Tara Seals (February 20, 2017). "CompTIA Unveils Cyberanalyst Certification". InfoSecurity.
  23. ^ Simon Quicke (February 20, 2017). "CompTIA extends security certification coverage". Computer Weekly.
  24. ^ Sara Barker (February 21, 2017). "CompTIA zeroes in on behavioural analytics with new global security certification". Security Brief.
  25. ^ COMPTIA CIO (27 February 2018). "R/CompTIA - PenTest+ Beta Testers Needed - Registration now available". Reddit.
  26. ^ Kristin Ludwig (Apr 3, 2019). "The New CompTIA Linux+: Your Questions Answered". CompTIA.
  27. ^ "CompTIA Linux+ XK0-004 Renewal". CompTIA.
  28. ^ Ed Tittel, Mary Kyle (November 21, 2016). "Best Linux Certifications For 2017". Tom's IT Pro.
  29. ^ "CompTIA A+ Certification vs. Network+ Certification". Vista College.
  30. ^ Shebli, Hessa Mohammed Zaher Al; Beheshti, Babak D. (2018). A study on penetration testing process and tools. 2018 IEEE Long Island Systems, Applications and Technology Conference (LISAT). pp. 1–7. doi:10.1109/LISAT.2018.8378035. ISBN 978-1-5386-5029-5.
  31. ^ Ed Tittel (December 13, 2016). "Best Information Security Certifications For 2017". Tom's IT Pro.
  32. ^ Ed Tittel, Mary Kyle (December 19, 2016). "Best Computer Hardware Certifications For 2017". Tom's IT Pro.
  33. ^ "CompTIA Server+ Certification Training". Computer Training Schools. 5 March 2021.
  34. ^ Ellen Messmer (March 22, 2013). "DOD accepts CompTIA's Advanced Security Practitioner certification". Network World.
  35. ^ "Project+ - combining the technical world and the business world: An Interview with Ayana Nickerson, for CompTIA". jidaw.com. Archived from the original on 2020-02-20. Retrieved 2010-04-09. c. August, 2004.
  36. ^ Emmett Dulaney (November 12, 2003). "Seven things to know about the new IT Project+ certification". Tech Republic.
  37. ^ Steve Rowe (September 1, 2004). "A Look at the CDIA+ Certification". Developer.com.
  38. ^ "Retired CompTIA Certifications". CompTIA.
  39. ^ Michael Gabriel Sumastre (September 24, 2012). "Get to Know More About CompTIA Healthcare IT Technician Certificate". Pluralsight.
  40. ^ Warren E. Wyrostek (February 1, 2002). "Now What? – Becoming an IT Trainer and The CTT+ Certification". Inform IT.
  41. ^ CompTIA (February 26, 2023). "CTT+ (Plus)". CompTIA.
  42. ^ Sears, Teresa (January 19, 2018). "Introducing CompTIA Stackable Certifications". CompTIA. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  43. ^ ""Right to Repair" Legislation is Wrong for Nebraska Consumers and Businesses". www.prnewswire.com (Press release).
  44. ^ "CompTIA Steps Back from Lobbying Activity Related to Right to Repair Legislation". Default. Retrieved 2021-12-31.
  45. ^ "CompTIA Creating IT Futures Foundation Helps Wounded Warriors Conquer Their Next Challenge: Preparing For Careers In The IT Field". Business Solutions. 19 March 2012. Archived from the original on 14 September 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  46. ^ Anderson, Nate (January 26, 2010). "CompTIA backs down; past certs remain valid for life". Ars Technica. Retrieved January 26, 2010.
  47. ^ "Good-for-Life Certifications".

External links[edit]